I am in an interesting situation in writing about Eau Palm Beach; one that I have not been in before. As I stare out the window at the sleet in New York, wondering, “Why do I live in this weather?”, I keep questioning what to say about this property. The Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa was formerly the Ritz Carlton that parted ways with the Ritz Group in 2013. Ownership had been fighting with Marriott over alleged profit skimming for several years prior, which resulted in a judge agreeing that the owners could terminate the management contract.
Once independent, the resort affiliated with Chicago-based Preferred Hotels & Resorts Group that allowed this family-run U.K. Trust-owned property to utilize Preferred’s marketing and branding tools.
In 2015, Jonathan Adler did a colorful redo of the guestrooms, which are still fabulous today and in 2016, additional renovations included the ballroom, meeting & event spaces, as well as the ocean-front restaurant ‘Breeze Ocean Kitchen’.
While the property was a recipient of Forbes Five-Star Award in 2016, 2017 & 2018, there is something about the resort that has that “it” quality. You know that “quality” that a person in show business has or doesn’t have? That intangible thing that you cannot quite put your finger on, but you know it when you see it?
That is where I am at with Eau Palm Beach.
I like to think that there are “Luxury” and then there are “Detailed Luxury” properties, where by definition of the latter, the property thinks of everything before you do.
Pulling up to the Eau is architecturally fabulous. A circular driveway with bright yellow décor makes for a sunny and welcoming entrance, as are the valets, who are some of the kindest and happiest people I have encountered in quite some time. Iced water is on display outside with fresh fruit and vegetable immersed to give guests a quick, non-alcoholic pick me up. Not a rare find for a warm climate destination, but the quality of the produce caught my eye. Infusions included Lemon & Rosemary, Strawberry & Mint, Mixed Berry and traditional Lemon & Lime. The display was lush and inviting, not just water on display for self-service. It appeared thought out and deliberate in the final presentation to accompany the weather and time of the day.
The lobby is adorned with crystal chandeliers, beige linens and décor complimented by towering floral arrangements and lighting that is reminiscent of a grand occasion – think purple and blue lighting, strategically placed to augment the reflection of the crystal and restaurants that border this grand room without overpowering the breathtaking view.
Concierge and Guest Reception made arrival a breeze.
Enroute to our room, located on the sixth floor of the Main Lodge, are more earth tones, more marble, moldings that are divine and lighting that is purposeful to showcase the small on-site boutiques.
A Gift Shop to purchase children’s toys, books and clothing as well as men’s and women’s apparel from such brands as ‘Velvet by Graham and Spencer’ and ‘Joe’s Jeans’, it also carries a variety of travel necessities ranging from stationary to sunscreen or Sugarfina candy (the candy can be a necessity, really). A small store worth a pop-in just for a browse or an impulse buy.
Adjacent to the gift shop is ‘The Spa’, one of only 48 spas in the world to have a Five-Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide. Services are comprehensive.
The Salon offers Nail Services such as the Pina Colada Pedicure ($95) and Mango Manicure ($75), Gel Manicure ($65) and French Pedicure ($75).
Hair Services include problem solving treatments using Italian hair care (and personal favorite) line Davines, for $35 per treatment and Brazilian Blowouts ($350 and over), since the humidity in Florida is no joke.
Facials such as Executive’s Peel where 30 minutes will rejuvenate the skin for a person on-the-go ($150) or for those with a bit more time, the Bejeweled Facial, which treats the skin to some glamour incorporating precious stones and high performance technology for that anti-aging boost and natural rejuvenated glow (60 minutes for $280.)
If massage and body treatments are more your style, check out ‘The Imperial Geisha’, a hand-drawn bath is followed by skin polishing with a dry brush and application of a warm body butter and massage (90 minutes for $299.) The Self-Centered Massage allows guests the choice of aromatherapy, pressure and time (60 minutes for $175, 90 minutes for $245 and 120 minutes for $315.)
The Perfect Champagne and Caviar Couples Journey allows couples choice to pick the color of the room to the style of music (if you can agree – I am kidding). Sip Champagne and enjoy Caviar in your own Private Garden Villa and enjoy couples 60 minute Signature Massage, 60 minute Facial, 60 minute Classic Pedicure, 30 minute Classic Manicure and 60 minutes of Private Garden Villa Time. This five hour experience is $675 per person.
Should you simply “pop in” the spa do not miss the beautiful fountain with tealights and the Spa Shop. Not only are chocolate bars abundant, but a tremendous selection of ‘Johnny Was’ clothing and mid-priced costume jewelry is available for purchase. I was able to acquire a tote bag that reads “Hello Beaches” because I am from New York and things like that amuse me to no end.
Next door to the Spa is another boutique with exceptional sunglasses. One stop in and I found myself the new owner of a pair of Quay that I absolutely cannot live without and do not know what I did before them. Do not miss this store.
Guest rooms, as I mentioned, are by Jonathan Adler. Fun, bright, sunny, retro-inspired but modern all the way, nothing says “Palm Beach is Fun” quite like this room. A tote bag with a map of Palm Beach greets entering guests on the bed following check in. What a fun idea!
An added bonus? The bath products. Natura Bisse Shampoo, Conditioner, Bath Foam and Detox Moisturizer are available and made me so oddly excited. It was not until I saw how strangely that my husband was looking at me when I was exclaiming about how wonderful of a privilege it was to have these bath products that I realized some may not understand why this is so wonderful, but Hello!, it is Natura Bisse, founded in Spain in 1979 by Ricardo Fisas, who with products and spa treatments is at select retailers and luxury hotels in 36 countries worldwide. How did my husband not know that?
In the evening, a small roll-on lavender in a purple sachet is left bedside so you can apply it for an aromatherapy-induced, peaceful sleep. That, my friends is Detailed Luxury.
Anyway, the room décor is awesome, as is the terrace, but we were not in there for long.
Monday – Saturday: 7am – 11:30am
Sunday: 7am – 11:00am
A la carte (Daily) and Buffet (Friday – Sunday)
Monday – Saturday: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Sunday Brunch: 12:00pm – 2:30pm
Every Day: 2:30pm – 6:00pm
Sunday – Wednesday: 6pm – 9pm
Thursday – Saturday: 6pm – 10pm
If you do nothing else that I suggest but eat the breakfast buffet, you will be a happy camper. I repeat: visit the breakfast buffet.
It is Mediterranean and it is fabulous. Smoked Salmon, Smoked Fish Salads, Omelette Bar, more baked goods than I have ever seen including homemade pop tarts and muffins, shrimp cocktail and a charcuterie display that includes any and all meat and cheese.
STIR Bar and Terrace Indoor/Outdoor Dining
Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 12am
Friday – Saturday: 11am- 1am
Insider tip: There is a “Sushi Social” every Friday and Saturday from 6 – 9pm.
We made two light dinner trips to Stir. We sat outside by the fire and ordered the Charcuterie Board, Turkey Sliders and Oysters. The food is solid, the atmosphere is better.
Should you order the Charcuterie Board, ask for the homemade zucchini crackers – they are phenomenal but are not served on the board anymore. We have no idea why and tried to find out.
Contemporary American with local seasonal menu options, open for dinner Tuesday thru Saturday from 6pm-10pm. Sadly I did not visit…
BREEZE Ocean Kitchen
Open daily – weather permitting – from 11am-8pm with a menu designed by Chef de Cuisine Kevin Knieriemen that focuses on “Floridian Flavors” with hints of the Caribbean. Spicy Tuna Nachos with Crispy Wontons and Sriracha Mayo, Mahi Mahi Tacos with chipotle aioli and when in Florida you have to have Key Lime Pie, are just a few of the highlights of this menu which is served al fresco or poolside.
Putting aside the bright yellow exterior, as some may find this too loud, I find the bright colors wonderful, this property is architecturally well thought out. The pool located by Breeze Ocean Kitchen is the family pool. Here kids and adults of all ages are able to swim, sun, play and eat with an abundant amount of shaded and sun drenched seating options.
Adjacent to one side of this pool is a hot tub. A flight of steps will take you to the beach where seating is also available and the other side is the home of the Kids Club. Here parents can take their children to camp conveniently and children can experience activities from pool, beach and art projects to their hearts content.
The pirate ship playground is also something to experience as is the store ‘Aquanuts’, geared to children with all sorts of floating devices and pool toys available for purchase.
Located on the other side of the back of the property is the Adults Only section. Here things take a more quiet turn. An infinity pool is the center to cabanas and chairs with a clientele that is seeking some rest and relaxation of the quiet kind. Another flight of stairs will take those who enjoy a softer experience to the beach.
I would love to tell you that I spent some time over in that section, but traveling with a child and being one myself keeps me in the loud and sassy location that is actually not loud at all and just a heap of fun. However, isn’t it nice to have the option?
Simply walking around the property is relaxing. The waves and the sun and palm trees are just so beautiful. I found myself taking many walks on the beach collecting shells, and observing marine life. An absolutely beautiful experience.
Good things come to an end…as we left we were given sachets with votive candles that were the same scent that are used at the hotel so that we “could bring the Eau Palm Beach home with you (us).”
That is Detailed Luxury and the precise reason why we will be back.
For more information visit www.eaupalmbeach.com
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Writer with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. Her credits include Sales and Marketing for with PRADA USA Corp., followed by a jump in to the world of beauty as an Esthetician followed by Spa Manager at Jurlique, Spa Manager and Client Relationship Manager and Digital Business Development coordinator position at Amore Pacific where celebrity clients were and remain confidential and her column, “Ask Angela,” was featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. She has also been a contributor for Beauty to Shape and Fitness Magazines.
A side job as a Hospital Victim on “As the World Turns,” and a correspondent on the now defunct lifestyle web series “Tangerine Living,” Angela is no stranger to juggling multiple positions and has built quite the resume. A move to The New York Daily News as Training and Employee Relations Manager with a night and weekend gig as make up artist for runway shows, (she studies in Los Angeles with Amy Ward) including Vogue Bambino and multiple commercials, Angela became a Mom, her best and most important credit to date.
Since Motherhood, Angela has been a Brand Ambassador for the skin line Patchology, featured in Saks Fifth Avenue in store and on air with CBS News segment “Patch me Pretty.” She has been a beauty guest for QVC, and the founder of her own social media communications business, helping business owners to share their digital voice. Actively involved with Smart Children with Learning Differences, her most favorite down time hobby is discovering the best in beauty, travel and fashion around the United States.
Angela is a graduate of Syracuse University with a BS in Communications and Writing, where she appeared on the University Union News as an Anchor and on The Beat of Syracuse, Z89 as a DJ. Angela has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Working with Alphaluxe is a unique opportunity, “to share what I am most passionate about. Living your best life. In her spare time, you can find Angela running, practicing yoga, taking her son to one of his sports practices. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, son, and chihuahuas.